Noun 1. gastronome - a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)bon vivant, epicure, epicurean, foodie, gourmetsensualist - a person who enjoys sensuality. Follow me on Twitter: @Aghastronome

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's For Lunch? Frozen Ravioli Florentine Smackdown

I am trying to be a little bit healthy and I haven't been cooking very much, bad me.  I have been in a self-inflicted food pox, of sorts.  In alignment with my frugal side, I have been buying various and sundry frozen, low calorie, low fat meals to keep at work for lunchtime.  They must be on sale and I try to use coupons, too.  Unless a JCI special or a particular craving draws me out from under the flourescents.  This week, I had to make a run to the discount store with the red logo for some iPhone accessories, so I purchased a new load of freezer fodder that was on sale.  They have a selection of Lean Cuisine®  items for $1.70 each and the Healthy Choice® Cafe Steamers ™  are 4 for $10 - not too shabby.  Last week, I finished my frozen stash with a Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® (known hereafter as "WW") ravioli florentine, which is pretty good.  I buy whatever ravioli is on special - I like the ravioli.  This week, I had the Lean Cuisine®  (now referenced as "LC") version and I have this to say about the two different brands.  LC roundhouse kicks WW in the face on this one.  This weeks LC ravioli was stuffed with spinach and the sauce was slightly spicy - good stuff.  The WW version is a ricotta cheese ravioli in spinach marinara, the sauce is tasty, but both the ravioli and the sauce fall rather flat in the spice department, when compared to LC. My gripe with both, which is ridiculous, I might add - they don't put very much cheese on top.  I know, that's where the fat lives and the calories come from, I know.  I said it was ridiculous and it is.  Cheese is my favorite food group, chicken fried is my second favorite and gravy is a given, please.  Yes, ricotta is a cheese, but it falls under just dairy, along with cottage cheese and sour cream.

Banned forever and never to be spoken of again?  Lean Cuisine® lobster and cheese ravioli (now spelled out to hit search engines, as ain't nobody reviewed it and it's gross).  Fishy and honestly nastified.  I can't believe I ate the whole thing, but, there's that frugal, Puritan, waste not, want not I grew up with.  Hint: That explains why I likes the offal, liver in particular.  Next time, I am doing some online review research, on account of I do not want to suffer a blunder like that, again.  Ever. Seriously.  I had to wash it down with my afternoon snack. I'm fixing to brush my teeth.  That bad.  I hope the purple pill prevents a burp.  Are you picking up what I'm putting down?  I hope so.  Save yourselves frozen food entree peeps.  Learn from my epic fail, I am aghast.  Total food mortification.  Okay, no more ranting.  On to the little gories, or nutritional facts.

WW has 241 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 30 miligrams of cholesterol, 720 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of total carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein.  The serving size is 241 grams.

LC has 220 calories (no ricotta pays off here), 5 grams of fat (2 of them saturated, a stat WW didn't offer), 20 miligrams of cholesterol (again the ricotta), 510 milligrams of sodium,  9 grams of protein and 34 grams of total carbohydrates.  The serving size is 241 grams.  LC gets a TKO in the Nutrition Facts ring.

Bottom Line:  While I will not shun the WW version by any means, I do prefer the LC version for putting the "florentine" in ravioli florentine and kicking the spice.  Both are excellent choices and price at or around two bucks works for me.  Don't shake your head at my frugal nature, this gig does not pay.  What you get is what I am living and eating.

Since the weather is cooling, there will be a squash ravioli smackdown in the future.  Same bat channel, maybe not the same bat time - who knows?

P.S. I looked for a review of the nastioli and found a glowing one??  WTH? The comments, mine now included, back up my humble opinion.  This is the right food for hazing freshmen (with a nice, hot Strawberry Hill) or a triple dog dare.

Yeah, I know, the only review I found was for Healthy Choice® there's not a single one for LC, so it must be new.  Question, who works in THAT test kitchen?  And lastly if it's Stouffer's, it's got to be.....oh nevermind.

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